Archive for September, 2009

Same old game of no shame

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Bishop Bethlehem Nopece of Port Elizabeth was SO right when he said in July 2009 : We do not seek any political correctness, but call upon all people to repentance and change of life and patterns of behaviour for a new character in line with the demands of the Word of God. Our programme is of pastoral care that transforms lives, eradicate poverty, heal the sick e.g. HIV and Aids, remove crime from our streets and build a sound family life in conformity to God’s demands as revealed in the scriptures (Mtt 5:48). Read here.

Power and privilege trump ethics and honour every time

Justice Malala: South Africa has a cultural problem: we have lost our sense of right and wrong, our sense of the proper and the improper. We have lost our sense of shame.


quote An honourable person would apologise and resign from the bench quote

We are sitting with leaders who cannot see the shame in what they do and insist on going on in their offices as if nothing has happened. Leaders are found guilty of the most offensive crimes but, instead of stepping down, they stand brazenly before us and vow to fight the system. They have no shame.

Worse, we have, as a country, pushed down our standards for public morality. In South Africa today, the scum of the earth is allowed in the judiciary and in the highest echelons of our public life.

Earlier this month, Judge Nkola Motata was found guilty of driving drunk. The trial exposed him as not just a drunk but as a law-breaker, a liar, a racist and a bully as well.

Magistrate Desmond Nair found Motata had used racial slurs, including calling metro police officers who arrested him “boere”. He used the phrase “f*** you” at least 10 times and could not even spell his own name. Remember, Motata had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

After such a conviction, any honourable man or woman would have been engulfed by shame. They would realise their actions had defiled their office and the trust the public had placed in them. An honourable person would apologise and resign from the bench immediately.

Not Motata, the drunk racist. Instead, walking out of court, he said: “I’ll never say anything. You’ll never hear a word from me.”

He holds all of us in such contempt that he does not feel an apology is in order. He feels entitled to the position of judge and does not realise how much damage he has inflicted on the judiciary, and his colleagues, by his actions. He is so shameless that he has indicated he wants his job back. A man who utters racist slurs is now the defender of our non-racial Constitution. Where is the shame?  Read full article

Lord Carey’s tribute to Bishop Michael Nazir Ali

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

At the end of a moving service in a packed cathedral at Rochester, Bishop Michael Nazir Ali, surrounded by his wife and two sons laid the Episcopal Staff of Rochester Diocese on the high altar and prayed:  “Trusting in the loving promises of God the Father, the grace of Jesus Christ and the power and fellowship of the Holy Spirit, I lay down my episcopal staff, sign of the Bishop’s oversight and care of his diocese. Into your hands O Lord I commend my future in faith and hope and the love of Jesus Christ”.

It was an exemplary display of the voluntary laying down of power, ten years before the required age for the retirement of bishops, to enter on a new phase of ministry.

Lord Carey paid this tribute during the service ( not verbatim):

“I want to express my thanks to Bishop Michael for his magnificent ministry as a Diocesan Bishop. But I want to focus on his national and international roles.  Ask the average informed person in England which bishops they can name, and they will probably name two who come from outside these islands – Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Rochester.

They have both touched a nerve with the British public. They ask questions from a much more critical perspective – they are outspoken, brave and controversial.  Michael speaks out of conviction and is not afraid to speak his mind.  This has led him to receive his share of opprobrium and even death threats.  He has also been outspoken in the House of Bishops. His clear mind undergirded by scholarship has also been a great resource to the General Synod.  In the debates on Liturgy I asked Michael to guide us through the complex theological issues. Who can forget the magisterial debate he had with Professor Anthony Thiselton on the translation of the preposition ‘ek.    He was the first to identify problems and with him there was no pulling of punches.

His views on the damage done by The Episcopal Church in consecrating Gene Robinson as a bishop were applauded by many, including me.  Though ignored by urban elites, he earned the right to be a critical friend of Islam. His contribution after 9/11 was invaluable when he put forward a number of ideas to open up dialogue with Muslim scholars.   In 1988 ( for which Michael was study secretary) the Anglican Communion began to take dialogue with Islam seriously – and in his new post following Lambeth as General Secretary of Church Mission Society he was best placed to do that. In his new post he reminded us that dialogue was not an end in itself – and called for reciprocity and the freedom to change beliefs that are denied to so many Christians.

I am sad today because his role as diocesan bishop gave him the freedom to speak out. Yet I know the work and ministry he is now to begin.  I hope the people of Rochester Diocese recognize that they have been served by one of the most important leaders in the church”

By Chris Sugden

Here we Are!!

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Here we Are!!

Seventy Anglican clergy and laity attended the launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (South Africa) at St John’s Church in Port Elizabeth on Thursday September 3.

FCA, which grew out of the GAFCON Conference in Jerusalem in 2008, has already seen successful national launches of Anglicans signed up to the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ across the globe, including in London in June 2009.   This meeting and our presence in this province sends a clear message that “the Scriptures exhort us to remain faithful to the faith ‘once for all delivered to the saints’, to the Lordship of Christ and hence to Apostolic teaching and practice within the Anglican Church”

FCA (South Africa) is not another organization and is not seeking to create another church.  It is a spiritual movement and fellowship for renewal, reformation and mission – uniquely bringing together those whose key shaping and commitment, but not exclusive identity, has been through the Anglo-Catholic, conservative evangelical, and charismatic expressions of Anglicanism. Thursday’s meeting and the FCA movement unites us in one fellowship defined by its centre in the Christian faith as it is clearly expressed in the Jerusalem Declaration and Statement.”

Anglicans from across South Africa – from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Church of England in South Africa and the Traditional Anglican Communion – were present as an example that the FCA is a body in which, healing between different Anglican groups can take place, and not schism.  Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, commended the meeting in these terms:” The aim of all faithful evangelicals and Catholics throughout the Church must be to witness to the truth in love and unity”.

In his keynote address, Canon Dr Vinay Samuel from India and Oxford who spoke at the London launch challenged the participants: “Can you bring the biblical resources of faith to shape the heart of South Africa’s agenda. Will its agenda be shaped by simply an ideology of rights and use the iconic status of leaders such as Desmond  Tutu and Nelson Mandela to silence any other view? That is not a great gift to the world from South Africa.  You will draw on the best of South Africa’s journey of social transformation. But you are called to the prophetic stance of the obedient disciple, rather than the stance of political people who have become messianic with the new universal of human rights which is now being imposed, claiming that these rights are self-evident -and if the Bible teaches anything different it is to be rejected.   They own the Bible, and claim the Holy Spirit, for the service of this ideology. That is based on power, not on obedience.”

FCA is being launched to support those in South Africa who hold and support orthodox faith, and at least one annual meeting will be held for teaching and fellowship, to strengthen the quality of biblical teaching and preaching. Retired Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya was present representing the Primates Council of GAFCON whose chairman Archbishop Peter Akinola, Primate of All Nigeria, sent the following greeting: “What a great blessing and tremendous joy to know that the mustard seed of GAFCON sown in the land of our LORD barely a year ago is already growing so fast and so big.

“May I remind you that issues and concerns that led to GAFCON are still very much with us. Revisionists will not come to repentance. The actions of TEC at its recent General Convention have confirmed our fears that for them, there is no going back. They are intensifying their search for new disciples in Africa, using mammon to buy silence and cheap compromise of the Gospel. They claim to be theologically with us, but are in full alliance with all that we stand against.

“GAFCON and FCA people must continue to stand very firm on the word of God. We must not waver or succumb to pressures posed by finance and economics. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. We must trust him who has called us. He is faithful and will provide what is needed for his work.”

Messages of support were also read out from the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, who said: “I am delighted to send fraternal greetings from those in the Church of England who are seeking to uphold the biblical faith and practice of the Anglican Communion and pray God’s blessings on your work as you seek to meet the many challenges to the faith today in the power of the Spirit and through faith in God and his Word.”

Dr Philip Giddings, Convenor of Anglican Mainstream (UK) also sent a greeting, adding: “We are delighted to see the development of the faithful work and witness of Father Gavin Mitchell and others in Anglican Mainstream South Africa.  We rejoice that they are taking forward the concern for orthodox Anglican witness at this critical time and have ensured that those of us in the rest of the Anglican Communion are aware of the challenges you are facing and how you are addressing them.   We stand in solidarity with you in this vital work.”

For further information contact Father Gavin Mitchell,,  +27842123032